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The Ghost Clause

About the Book

The Ghost Clause

National Book Award finalist Howard Norman delivers another “provocative...haunting” (Janet Maslin, New York Times) novel, this time set in a Vermont village and featuring a missing child, a newly married private detective and a highly relatable ghost.

Simon Inescort is no longer bodily present in his marriage. It’s been several months since he keeled over the rail of a Nova Scotia–bound ferry, a massive heart attack to blame. Simon's widow, Lorca Pell, has sold their farmhouse to newlyweds Zachary and Muriel --- after revealing that the deed contains a “ghost clause,” an actual legal clause, not unheard of in Vermont, allowing for reimbursement if a recently purchased home turns out to be haunted.

In fact, Simon finds himself still at home: “Every waking moment, I'm astonished I have any consciousness.... What am I to call myself now, a revenant?” He spends time replaying his marriage in his own mind, as if in poignant reel-to-reel, while also engaging in occasionally intimate observation of the new homeowners. But soon the crisis of a missing child, a local 11-year-old, threatens the tenuous domestic equilibrium, as the weight of the case falls to Zachary, a rookie private detective with the Green Mountain Agency. 

THE GHOST CLAUSE is a heartrending, affirming portrait of two marriages --- one in its afterlife, one new and erotically charged --- and of the Vermont village life that sustains and remakes them.

The Ghost Clause
by Howard Norman

  • Publication Date: July 2, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • ISBN-10: 0544987292
  • ISBN-13: 9780544987296